The widespread loss of power after Hurricane Matthew created an unexpected side effect of interest to law-abiding citizens in my area of North Carolina—it’s impossible for probation officers to monitor some parolees with ankle-mounted GPS tracking units. With many of the roads gone or blocked, it’s also impossible for officers to monitor all of their whereabouts.
Some parolees in Cumberland County North Carolina, which includes Fayetteville, don’t have electricity and are unable to charge their court-ordered tracking devices. In nearby Robeson County, where Lumberton is submerged, the situation is the same, but even visiting/inspecting their homes is impossible due to flooding.
No problems have been reported, despite the reduced effectiveness of phone call monitoring (when they’re even possible). The relatively unsupervised release, however, reinforces why law-abiding citizens willing to take charge of their welfare until authorities arrive should include a firearm and solid training as part of their survival plans.